Empty homes schemes allocated £25 million
The government has announced the community groups that will receive a share of more than £25 million to bring empty homes back into use.
Communities minister Andrew Stunell said the 76 organisations given funding will refurbish 1,600 homes.
A further £5 million will be allocated later this year, with 20 organisations currently bidding for the cash.
The biggest single allocation goes to Empty Homes, which will use the money to set up a £3 million ‘bank’ to bring privately-owned properties back into use. The scheme, which was unveiled in Inside Housing earlier this month, will lend money to landlords at sub-market rates to allow them to fix up abandoned properties.
Two other organisations received allocations of more than £1 million, community charity Five Lamps in Teesside, and Hornsey YMCA in north London.
Mr Stunell said: ‘Empty properties are a national disgrace - they attract crime and are a shocking waste of housing when millions of families need a home.
‘I’m determined to tackle this problem, and that’s why the coalition is helping local groups breathe new life into their communities.’
Architect and television presenter George Clarke, who was appointed to be an independent advisor on empty homes to the government in April, said: ‘We need to find more creative and innovative ways to refurbish and remodel the many thousands of perfectly sound properties currently standing empty all over the UK.’